REEDLEY – Known for its Wednesday night markets and exciting community events, The Wakehouse has joined forces with Sweet Girl Farms to bring an immersive experience full of culture and fun to the community of Reedley; resulting in a turnout of dozens of people for the collaboration’s first Annual Festival del Día de los Muertos.
The celebration took place on Nov. 1 from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. and brought out many local vendors selling jewelry, clothes, food and other cultural items. Among these vendors was Gabriela Rodrigez and her booth, Grabiela’s Bling Boutique.
“I think this is a great event in celebration of the Day of the Dead,” Rodriguez said about the event. “I am Mexican. This is perfect for me and to see our culture. I am very excited and very happy to be a part of it.”
In addition to dozens of vendors, attendees were treated to a live Mariachi by Mariachi Sol de Oro, traditional dance by Ballet Folklorico and small Community Ofrenda, where community members were encouraged to place photographs of loved ones or anyone important to the community of Reedley. For those not able to attend the celebration in person, a digital altar was available for anyone who wanted to send in a photo for the celebration.
“The collaboration of this event between The Wakehouse and Sweet Girls Farms is so we can have a place for the community to carry traditions and support local business,” said Liset Garcia, owner and operator of Sweet Girl Farms.
Last year, Garcia hosted the event at her farm stand outside on the outskirts of town. It was through her farm stand that she met Justin Simmons, the general manager of The Wakehouse, and she was all in when he approached her about collaborating on the event this year.
Among other attendees were Betsy Martinez and her daughter. On the topic of the celebration, Martinez shared her appreciation, saying, “We’re local, so we appreciate these cultural events and events that bring the community together by supporting small businesses. That’s why we came out.”